Today is Columbus Day. Yesterday, we celebrated Columbus Day. How did you celebrate? Go to the mall to shop for a good deal? Go leaf peeping? Spend time working around the house spiffing things up or mowing the lawn for the last time (you hope) of the season?
Did you stop for a moment to remember why there is a Columbus Day holiday? You learned it when you were in school..."In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." But, do you remember this little ditty has 14 stanzas? (for more see http://www.teachingheart.net/columbus.htm)
A lot of controversy has been voiced recently for celebrating Columbus Day including the explorer owning slaves; letting Columbus shoulder all of the responsibility of oppression of the natives he called 'Indians' (because he wanted to be in India, never mind the fact that he was on an island in the Bahamas); The Italian is also credit with sole accountability of bringing death in the form of diseases from Europe to the far side of the world. It is also reported that the explorer would virtually stop at nothing to get what he wanted from climbing the social ladder to making sure everyone knew who he was including exploiting people and events and twisting the words (oral and written, including Biblical text) to suit his needs. (Hmm, this description sounds familiar to many people today!).
If you give this one man the blame for all of the bad that is and has happened to the Americas, isn't it also true that he get credit for the good things?